The Krobos whomigrated from Sameh in Western Nigeria, southwest of the River Ogun, are a religious people. Ethnic wars and suppression by other ethnic groups induced their migration towards the end of the fifteenth century.
Aftertravelling through many territories or towns, which resisted their passage, the Krobos finally established their home on the Krobo Mountain where they lived for more than fou humdred years.
By 1730, the Krobos held undisputed sway and occupied all the lands boundedin the east by the Lomen creek, in the south by the Lorloevor Valley, on the west by the Akwapim range and on the north by the Volta River. This land they always referred to as Klo.
Meanwhile, the Krobos acquired more land due west and northwest by more peaceful means having signed the treaty of Sasabi on the 21st August 1872 with the Akwapins. They also signed treaties with the Akyem , Akwamu and Gyekiti chiefs.
Having been forced by the colonial authority to abandon the Krobo Moumtain, the Krobos neglected their family lands east of Akwapim ranges and round about their mountain home, and made their new homes at the foot of the Akwapim ranges. The result was that the Osudokus started large-scale encroachmenton the Krobo lands. The village of Linidor was established in this way by the Osudokus.
In1901, the six Krobo clan chiefs concluded an Aggreement that invested the ancestarl lands between Lorlorvor, Lomen, Okwe River, Akwapim hills and the Volta river in the paramount stool both for propriety and jurisdictional rights. The rules were that no part of the land could be alienated without the concurrenceod the six clan chifs and the Konor.
The Krobos were a united nation until 1858 when a conflict developed between Nene Olongo Patu, Chief of Western Hrobo ( Yilo Krobo) and Nene Odonkor Azu of the eastern Krobo (Manya Krobo). Since the the Krobos have been administered as two separate states, namely Mnya Krobo and Yilo Krobo. The Yilo Krobos arrived on the Krobo mountain 200 hundred years after the Manya Krobos had settled on the Mountain.
By 1892, the Krobos had lived on the Krobo mountain also known as Klowem or Kloma, Akla Yogwa meaning home of the Krobos or Great Hill, the citadel and foundation of he Krobos for 442 years. The Krobo mountain is a common heritage of both the Manya and Yilo Krobos.
KONORSHIP OF MANYA KROBO 1835 TO PRESENT
King Odonkor Azu ( Obliponi) 1835-1857
King Sakitey I (Kakraku Amuola) 1857-1892
Nene Sir Emmanuel Mate Kole (Huasukple) 1892-1939
Nene Fred Azu Mate Kole MV, KMC, OBE. LLD(UGL) (Oklemekuku) 1939-1990
His Majesty Nene Sakite II 1998-
KROBO CONCEPT OF GOD
Krobos like many other African people are a religious people. They believe in the Supreme God and also believe in other titular deities, which are believed to be responsible for the daily life of Krobos.
Thr relifious leaders (priests) who constituted themselves into a Council of Priests(Jemeli) were the custodians of the taboo laws, which governed all aspects of live until the establishment of chieftaincy when the role of priests were limited to performance of cultural and religious rites only.
THE NGMAYEM FESTIVAL
The festival ia a day or period of religious, social or other celebration when the citizens renew their love, unity, solidarity and express their gratitude to God for His blessings manifested in many ways like good harvest, riches, good health, protection from enemies etc. The Ngmayem Festival which in the remote past was celebrated by priests only was reconstituted as a communal festival in the 1940s by the Konor Oklemekuku nene Azu Mate Kole II to promote solidarity amoung the people and to mobilize the people for development.
The Krobos who hold their ancestorsin high veneration remember them on the occasion of the festival. Socio-economic activities are also organized. Such activities include performance of marriage rights, resolution of family conflicts,funerals to commemorate the dead, prior to the festival. The festival unites the people as one cultural entity and the youth are provided with the opportunity ot learn the culture of their people and to make friends and choose spouses.
Durbar, inter-denominational Church Servises, Harvest and Thanksgiving Services, Fund raising Durbars for the Development and othe get-togethers are held as a means of cementing tiers among the people.
Concerts, football matches and other forms of entertainment are important features of the festival. Goverment Officials, who often attend these occasions, explained government policies and assist to imlement development programmes.
RITES CONNECTED WITH THE NGMAYEM FESTIVAL
A discussion of the beliefs of the Krobos and the way their traditional religious worship is organized can be a lengthy affair. Some rites are however intrincically connected with the Ngmayem festival and their explanation is relevant.
When the Krobos sojourned on the Krobo Mountain, millet was their staple food. For years now the menu of the Krobos has changed so much that very little significance is attached to the cultivation of millet. Notwithstanding, millet farms are kept by the Nana Kloweki priest for ritual purposes.
MILLET PLANTING RITES - KODAKPAMI
the ritual of hooting (Kodakpami) is a ceremomy in which the priest leads the Krobo people to confess their personal and social sins like adultry, abortion, murder, cursing and socery. In this condition, the deities are expected to bless the growing of new seeds. the ceremony is also to announce the start of the sowing season.
The moral essence of the ceremony is that the priests profess their integrity and innocence, which confers on them the moral authority to tad the people spiritually.
The sowing of the millet follows later. Ten weeks after Kodokpami, the millet is harvested. This is used toin a series of rites after which the people are free to eat the new millet.
At the grand durbar at Lasi, the head priest pours libation for blessing in the new year for good harvest, fertility, good health, riches and protection from enemies and general well being. The mellet seeds are shared to the people as a sybol of blessing.
At Lasi, the Konor, the Divisional Chiefs, Asafoatsemei, Sipims,Queenmothers, the general public, invited guests, tourists, government officials converge to climax the week long celebration with a colourful durbar.
The Konoe, Nene Sakite II has used the forum to launch the Konoe Educational Endowment Fund, addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and other pertinent issues affecting the Manya Krobo State.
OFFERING OF THE FIRST YAM (KWOJOFOMI)
The offering of the first yam, a ceremony at which blessing is also sought for the people is another yearly festival, which is performed seven weeks after the Kodakpami celebration.
The rites performed by the Likpotsu priest of the Djebiam-Agbom. In this celemony the new yam is offered to the deity before the priest can eat it. The Priest Okomo, Asa and Adzime take part in the ceremonies.
The purpose of the rites is the claensing and blessing of the throat so that people can enjoy the newyam. The libation prayer pleads for blessing, strength, children, riches, food and rain for good harvest.
VISIT TO THE KROBO MOUNTAIN
The Krobo sojourned on the Krobo Mountain for over 400 years. Though the mountain was abandoned in 1892, the Krobos' emotional and spiritual attachment to the mountain remains intact. To maintain this emotional and spiritual attachment, the Krobos visit the mountain during the festival week on Thursday. One attraction is viewing the various artifacts left behind by opur ancestors who were forced to desert the mountain in 1892.
In recent times a mini durbar is held and other recreational activities, are organised at the foot of the mountain, to entertain the numerous visitors to the mountain.
VISIT TO THE ROYAL MAUSOLEUM (AKLEME)
In Africa traditional religion, though the ancestral spirits are no longer present with us in physical form, they continue to exert influence on the lives of the living. They are consulted in libation during several occasions like Naming Ceremony, marriage Rites and in any mojor family event.
The same veneration is extended to public-spirited Krobos who have been buried in the royal mausoleum, which is visited on the Wednesday during the weeklong celebration. There is general mourning in the families, Libation is poured in the memory of the dead as expression of our continuous union with them.
CELEBRATION BY THE DIVISIONS
As part of the weeklong general celebration, the six Divisions also celebrate ao address various concerns pertaining to their divisions. the time table is as follows:
Monday - Djebiam
Tuesday - Piegnua/Manya
Thursday - Akwenor/Suisi/Dorm
A joint Denominational Thanksgiving Service is organised to thank the Almighty God for tHis numerous blessings and also for sustaining our lives. The service is led by the Christian Churches.